Art Quiz: The Answer is Zangid Dynasty

Did you know the answer to this one? Congratulations if you got it right. If, like me, you missed this question, you might enjoy learning a bit about the “Mosul school” of painting and about the Zangid dynasty.

Here is an example:


The so-called Mosul School of Painting refers to a style of miniature painting that developed in northern Iraq in the late 12th to early 13th century under the patronage of the Zangid dynasty (1127–1222). In technique and style the Mosul school was similar to the painting of the Seljuq Turks, who controlled Iraq at that time, but the Mosul artists had a sharper sense of realism based on the subject matter and degree of detail in the painting rather than on representation in three dimensions, which did not occur. Most of the Mosul iconography was Seljuq – for example, the use of figures seated cross-legged in a frontal position. Certain symbolic elements however, such as the crescent and serpents, were derived from the classical Mesopotamian repertory. Most Mosul paintings were illustrations of manuscripts—mainly scientific works, animal books, and lyric poetry.

From —

Shown above is a “frontspiece” from a late 12th century copy of the Kitab-al-diriyak or “Book of Antidotes”, a medical treatise. This depicts four figures surrounding a central, seated figure holding a crescent-shaped halo. The painting is done in reds, blues, green, and gold, with blue lettering.

The Zangid — or Zengid — dynasty ruled northern Iraq and Syria from about 1127 to 1222. They were famous as patrons for both painting and metalwork.

So… now you know!



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